Monday, August 6, 2012

Antiparos, Greece

We returned to Paros from our day cruise to Santorini tired, but hungry, and so along with Evdoxia, Marina and Stephan we headed out for souvlaki. The gyros just added evidence to my theory that the favorite of all the food I have sampled while living in Europe is Greek food. I could have eaten a dozen, as it stands I believe I had two and also polished off what Lauris could not eat! Souvlaki could be termed fast food, but the pork served was probably healthier than any fast food you’ll find in the US, and the combination of meat, pita and tzatziki beats a burger in my book. Anyone have a tzatziki recipe they are willing to share with me?

The following morning Lauris got a haircut, because the poor guy was overheating in this weather with his long locks. As the last real haircut had been kind of disastrous, I was very happy to let a professional handle the job. Lauris wasn’t quite as calm as with his first haircut, but while sitting in my lap things went pretty smoothly and now he has a great hot-weather do!

A rare picture of Lauris after haircut without his hat on

La coupe de cheveux finished, we once again headed for a destination off-island, but this time Evdoxia and Stephan were coming with. There is a ferry to Antiparos from Parikia, but as the island is located less than a mile from Paros at closest point we headed south to Pounta, where the ferry is more of a hop across a channel instead of a longer ride like our ferry rides until now. The car ferry docked in Antiparos and we were off, headed to the biggest tourist destination on the island, σπήλαιο Αντπάρον. The Cave of Antiparos is in the southeast part of the island at the top of Ai Yiannis Hill. Residents have known about the cave for a long time, but the interior wasn’t documented until 1673 when the French ambassador of Constantinople paid a visit. A large stalagmite at the entrance is 45 million years old and supposedly the oldest in Europe, and there are 411 steps leading to the bottom of the cave. The number 411 is from a little informational brochure, we didn’t count as we were all too busy hauling the three kids up and down… But please do not misunderstand; the cave was worth the climb especially as the temperature within was about 60° F compared to the 100° temperatures outside. There was also a most beautiful little church at the entrance, this one dedicated to Saint John (Agios Ioannis Spiliotis).

With Evdoxia, Stephan and Mikus in the cave of Antiparos

Then, my favorite time of day, time to eat! We chose a restaurant on the sea in Agio Georgios, with a view across a channel to the Despotiko. As Evdoxia explained it, the more ferries one has to take to reach an island/beach, the less tourists and more exclusive. Antiparos is already two ferries removed; Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Pierce Brosnan have vacation homes there and other celebrities such as Brangelina and Prince Albert supposedly visit on a regular basis, but the Despotiko beaches are considered even more select, as the island is uninhabited and three ferries removed. Our meal was fantastic; freshly caught red snapper and other fish, delicious yet light on a hot summer day.

Another fish on the menu was this catch, dried in the sun along with the octopus... maybe next time?

It wouldn’t be a visit to Antiparos without a trip to the beach, and so we left the car on a dusty side road and walked along a well-worn path to the ocean. A narrow strip of beach with shade trees provided a perfect spot for us, and we splashed around in the surf, hunted for pumice in the sand and enjoyed the cool water and hot sun.

We drove back to the Antiparos port and took a walk to enjoy the bougainvillea covered white houses with the traditional blue shutters and doors. Roberts ate another gyros pita and we took a tour of the 1440 castle. To protect the inhabitants from pirates, many islands have similar complexes, this one with over twenty two-story houses, three churches and aqueduct.

The churches were added in later centuries

As the sun fell lower in the sky we returned to the car to catch the return ferry to Paros, and before too long we were back in Parikia eating another delicious meal of seafood. The days were passing much too quickly for my liking, but we had another full day in Paros to enjoy the Greek islands.


  1. Wow, another gorgeous set of photos! You can feel the sunshine when you look at them :-) The colour of the sea just made me want to jump right in! Btw, don't forget to update your 'living in central France' tag ;-)

  2. What a wonderful day you had. May I just tell you that we went to check out a new restaurant Friday night and I ordered Chicken Souvlaki? It was delicious. (See, I want to be like you. hehehe)

  3. I can't get over these pictures! I seriously wish I was there right now.

  4. I still feel bad about that previous haircut....

  5. aaah. Sounds amazing! I'm living vicariously through you. The most exotic vacation we get this year is visiting my family in upstate NY starting at the end of the week. I'm pretty excited though. We haven't been since last September and I miss the country and the gorges and the lakes so much. Crowded city pools in midwest Ohio are NOT the same thing as glacier cut watering holes carved into the woods.

  6. Interesting info about the ferries! The place looks gorgeous, looks like you had a fantastic time!


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